February 21, 2011

The Parable of the Cupcake

I would like to tell you a little story. 

I am not the most strong-willed person when it comes to tasty treats that are horrible for me, and I do try to take care of myself.  As such, I went to the gym this morning.  The gym is a wonderful, magical place that can make most any of your problems fade into a luscious melting of sweat and endorphins.  I love the post-gym-shower feeling of contentment, satisfaction, and righteousness.  I usually go to the gym when I’ve finished a good hunk of reading in the morning so that righteousness is double-fold: homework is worked on AND I’m an awesome person because I gym-bunnied!

On my way home from the gym, all sweaty and tired, I ran into a girl on the elevator.  I live on the thirteenth floor, so it’s not exactly a short elevator ride.  She was holding a pan of something wrapped in foil so I pressed the button for her floor for her.

After a bout of silence, she asked if I would like a cupcake.  She explained that she had been heading a bake sale, but there were cupcakes left and she didn’t want them all in her room.  I knew that I should say “no, thank you” (especially as I had just been to the gym to work off the very calories that cupcake held), but I felt bad turning down her generous offer.  I gracefully accepted and we chatted a little bit about the bake sale before she had to get off on her floor.

Now I was stuck in an awkward situation.  I had been gifted, very kindly and generously, with a baked confection of yuminess which, despite its instant gratification would no doubt be the cause of future guilt and an upset stomach if I yielded to the temptation to devour it.  On the other hand, what was I supposed to do with this cupcake?  I couldn’t just leave it somewhere… it would get thrown out.  What had it done to deserve getting thrown out uneaten?

Conundrum in mind (and slightly disappointed with myself for yielding to the sugar temptation), I walked into my apartment.

My roommate was standing in the kitchen making coffee.  We exchanged our usual round of casual greetings.  She asked if I would like coffee, I said yet.  I had a brilliant notion!  Another human!  A human who hadn’t been to the gym!  A human who may, also, like tasty treats!  I asked her if she would like the cupcake.

She said no, she probably wouldn’t, but her brother who (conveniently enough) was visiting probably would!  I set the cupcake on the table and told her that I would ask no questions if it met an untimely demise. 

I walked into my room feeling satisfied.  I hadn’t turned down a gracious (if simple) gift, I hadn’t succumbed to the sugar crush, and I hadn’t thrown out the home-baked confection.  Random acts of kindness were passed along, and I was still righteously gymed!

I realized as I lingered in my post-gym shower that this was a perfect example of the way my life tends to work.  One should always accept the cupcake, even if she has no idea what she is going to do with it.  Inevitably, a situation will present itself (usually very soon after the initial cupcake reveal) in which said resource will be utilized.  The path makes itself clear, one need only tread upon it.

That’s how I wound up with some of the best (and worst) things my life has so-far offered.  I came to Rutgers because of a cupcake incident.  I met my bestest friends due to metaphysical cupcakes.  And now, here I am, waiting to see whether a red velvet cupcake will present itself (though I already have a chocolate peanut butter one in hand). 

So I’m still on line at the bakery counter.  Or waiting in the elevator for random bake-sale girl to emerge.  There are definitely worse places to be.

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